While we might consider the pandemic as all bane owing to the economic depression, job losses and mental illnesses that we are experiencing, it also presents you with ample time to interact and have fun with your children. If you have a late talker for example, this period when everyone is working from home and schools are closed is the best time to help your child become better in their speech.
Parents of speech delayed and autistic children are often asked by the speech and language pathologists to spend more time with their children. In this post, I explore some of the things that you could do with your child.
- Ditch the screens and invest time in DIY crafts
One theme that is written about on thriveglobal among other leading websites is on the need to ditch TV, tablet and smartphone screens and invest the time in more meaningful conversations. Lots of screen time does not go well for children. Neither for adults.
We have seen that the addictive baby shark doo song could actually be messing up your child. While a few people argue that it could help children learn things quickly, overdependence on screens just does not work. It makes your children seem like zombies who are too much preoccupied with what is happening on screens and in the 2-D world while forgetting the real 3-D world. Some people have actually written articles on why the baby shark is so annoying.
Rather than have your kids glued to the TV, have them do some DIY crafts such as make sisal ropes, do wall paintings as well as make DIY jewelry that they could later wear.
- Lets trampoline that energy away
The trampoline has been said to be a great avenue to let loose and spend most of your child’s energy. According to research, a trampoline could actually help your child speak faster since they will be thrilled and excited as they hop and jump on the rebounder.
While doing so, make sure that the trampoline is safe for your child. The American Academy of Pediatricians has noted that most kids end up hurt when they use the trampoline at the parks. Some of these park trampolines lack safe, thick paddings and safety nets. You will also find that a couple of kids could be jumping on one trampoline at a time which would be risky in itself.
To avoid such risks, you should think about investing in a mini trampoline that your autistic kid could use indoors. With a mini trampoline, your kid will be bouncing alone and you will be able to ensure that it has good padding and safety nets for maximum safety. You will have time to inspect your kid jumping on it to make sure that the antics they are doing are not unsafe.
- Lots of pretend play
While at home, it is time to get your hands dirty as you play with your children. So sit on the floor and engage them as they do their little tea parties, board games and be part of the fun. As you do this, your child is going to become more confident playing with you and also interact with you.
You will be able to note the syllables that they are having trouble vocalizing and even help them with such syllables.
- Do speech teletherapy
Even though the physical speech therapy sessions might not be available at the moment, technological tools such as zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams have provided us with options for teletherapy. If your speech therapist is tech savvy enough, they will already have found out this opportunity and are using it to see your child. If they are not, you could tell them to try them out or even look for another speech therapist who is already doing it.